3rd Jul, 2022

Light bulb moment: Cash on offer for schemes to help Covid recovery

Ross Crawford 13th Feb, 2021

RESIDENTS, community organisations and businesses with innovative ideas to help local areas recover from the pandemic are being offered the chance to win funding and support of up to £15,000.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is introducing a new ‘Dragons’ Den’ style competition for anyone with a new idea which will help local communities build back better.

Called the Community Recovery Innovation Challenge, 20 prizes worth £500 are available for the best ideas along with an invitation to an innovation masterclass.

In addition, the top three chosen will receive bespoke support valued up to £15,000 each, to help them take their project to the next level.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: “Now more than ever we need to be creative, and the West Midlands is fortunate to have some of the brightest and best minds in the country.

“We want our region to come back greener and more inclusive, so I would urge anyone who has an idea that they think could make a difference to please get in touch.”

Projects should address at least one of 12 categories including debt, domestic violence, mental health and support for grassroots culture, art and sport.

Proposals must be presented in the form of a short film and / or summary document giving a brief overview of the community, how Covid-19 has impacted it and how their idea will address the problem.

Competition entries should include a rough outline of how any funds would be used.

Entries should be submitted by midday on March 21, 2021. To find out more visit www.wmca.org.uk/CommunityBounceback

The categories are:

Support the most vulnerable people

Tackle domestic violence

Deliver ‘people-powered’ health

Widen awareness and access to mental health support

Make education and training more accessible

Help prepare children for school or early years learning

Bring the young and the elderly together

Support youth employment and skills

Encourage grassroots culture, arts and sport

Address homelessness or debt issues

Increase digital inclusion, and/or

Improve access to green spaces

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